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Full text of "Prayers of Rev. Charles Wesley Byrd, D.D"



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Library of the 
University of North Carolina 

Endowed by the Dialectic and Philan- 
thropic Societies. 



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UNIVERSITY OF N.C, AT CHAPEL HILL 



00042712920 



This book must not 
be token from the 
Library building. 



Form No. 471 



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I 



A TRIBUTE OF LOVE 



By courtesy of Mr. Edwiu L. Brown, Jr., 
of the Brown Book Company, Asheville, there 
has come into our hands a neat little booklet 
entitled "In Memory of Rev. Charles Wesley 
Byrd, D. D.'' This is really a tribute of love, 
"published as a memorial to their beloved pas- 
tor by the members of Central Methodist 
Church, Asheville, North Carolina." Thus it 
is dedicated as the expression of that peculiar 
love which only a congregation feels for a pas- 
tor who has given long years of service in a 
rich and helpful ministry. The little booklet 
contains a tribute written by Eev. TT. L. Sher- 
rill-^ giving the salient facts of his ministerial 
life, together with a beautiful and discrimina- 
ting estimate of his character as a minister and 
leader. It contains also a reprint of the 
prayers from the church bulletin as prepared 
from week to week by Dr. B^^^d through sev- 
eral months prior to his death. 

As an expression of holy sentiment and 1 »f ty 
emotion and desire these prayers have hardly 
been excelled in all the rounds of sacred litera- 
turo. Altogether, as the expression of a holy 
Oevition on the part of the congregation which 
enjoyed his ministry so much a:jcl vrho valued 
him in his capacity as a great spiritual leader, 
it is as the box of precious ointment in the 
home at Bethany. 

This book was not printed with any commer- 
cial end in view, but simply as a memorial, yet 
there are a few copies which may be had by 
addressing the Brown Book Company, Ashe- 
ville, N. C, inclosing 15 cents. 




CENTRAL METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH 



praters 



OF 



flev. Gbarlce TS^eelci? B?r5, I>.X). 



REPRINTED FROM 

BULLETINS OF CENTRAL METHODIST CHURCH 

JUNE 10, 1917, TO JANUARY 13, 1918 



TRIBUTE BY 

REV. WILLIAM L. SHERRILL 

SECRETARY OF WESTERN NORTH 
CAROLINA CONFERENCE 



I'UBLISHED AS A MEAIOklAt 

To THEIR BELOVED PASTOR BY THE 

MEMBERS OF CENTRAL METHODIST CHURCH 

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA 




REV CHARLES WESLEY BYRD. D.D. 



A TRIBUTE TO THE LATE 
REV. CHARLES WESLEY BYRD, D.D, 



BY WILLIAM L. SHERRTLL 



WITH such abundant material at hand it is difficult 
to compass within limited space the many noble 
traits which enriched the character of the late 
Rev. Charles Wesley Byrd, D.D., who served for so many 
years as the pastor of Central Church. 

He was bom on March 23rd, 185 8, in Harnett County, 
N. C, son of J. A. and Caroline Byrd. In youth he 
joined the Methodist Church, for he early learned to fear 
the Lord. He was educated at Jonesboro High School, 
the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt Uni- 
versity. Then in December, 1882, at Raleigh, he was 
admitted on trial into the North Carolina Conference and 
has serv'ed the following charges : 

1883— Scotland Neck. 
1884-86— :\Iorehead City. 
1887-89— First Church, Salisbur}^ 
1890— Hay Street, Favetteville. 
1891-92— Central Church, Asheville. 
1893— Presiding Elder, Shelbv District. 
1894-96— Presiding Elder, Asheville District 
1897-99— Central Church, Asheville. 
1900 — Settle ^lemorial, Owensboro, Ky. 
1901-04— First Church, Atlanta, Ga. 
1905-06— St. John's, Augusta, Ga. 
1907-10— West End, Nashville, Tenn. 
1911-12— Central Church, Asheville. 
1913-16— West Market Street, Greensboro. 
1917-18— Central Church, Asheville. 



During this long period he was Presiding Elder for 
four years and Station Preacher for thirty-two years. His 
field of activity was scattered over five annual Confer- 
ences, viz : the North Carolina, Western North Carolina, 
Louisville, North Georgia, and Tennessee, in which he 
served in succession, many leading churches of the Con- 
nection, distinguishing himself uniformly, as a con- 
scientious pastor, an able minister of the Word, and a wise 
and zealous leader of the hosts of Israel. 

During his pastorate in Salisbury, he was married to 
Miss Hattie Bobbitt, daughter of the late Rev. Dr. William 
H. Bobbitt, of blessed memory, and he found in her a 
stay and support during the remaining years of his pil- 
grimage. She still survives, with the only son, William 
Bobbitt Byrd, now in the service of his country, in the 
Aviation Corps. 

Dr. Byrd had just entered hopefully upon the second 
year of his fourth term as pastor of Central Church, seem- 
ingly in usual health, when the New Year (1918) began. 
He held the mid-week prayer service on Wednesday even- 
ing, January the second, and then made a pastoral call 
before returning to the parsonage. Before the morning 
dawned^ however, he was mortally stricken, and in a few 
hours his pure spirit was released to wing its flight to the 
eternal home. His people were broken-hearted, not only 
because "a mighty man and a Prince in Israel" had fallen, 
but because the shepherd of the flock, one whom they loved 
as a leader and leaned upon as a friend, had been suddenly 
called away. 

He departed as he ofen wished he might, in the midst 
of active service, for he went literally from labor to re- 
ward. The mortal body was lovingly laid to rest in the 
bosom of the great mountains, in Riverside, near to the 
people whom he loved and to whom he had ministered so 
long and faithfully. 

He possessed strong native intellect and took the full 
advantage of splendid school opportunities, so that when 
he came to the pastorate he was richly furnished in mind 
and heart for his holy task. 



The studious habits of his youth were continued to the 
very end of his life, and his mental vigor increased with 
the years, so that his wide and varied knowledge, stamped 
him, in his latter days, as a man of very broad culture. 
He was a brilliant man without vanity, a scholar without 
pedantr}', a churchman without bigotry, a saint without 
fanaticism, and so sincerely sympathetic that he held as 
'"with hooks of steel'' the many friends of all classes and 
conditions, whom he attracted by his gentle and magnetic 
manner. His genuine warm-heartedness, his cheerful good 
humor, his human-interest spirit, his thorough familiarity 
with Biblical and all polite literature, joined with his 
charming conversational gifts, made him a most com- 
panionable man. 

He had a rich Christian experience. "His conversa- 
tion was in heaven.'' His words were verily seasoned with 
salt, and he steadily grew in grace and in knowledge and 
in capacity for usefulness to the ver\" last day of his life. 

\Mth all his tenderness and smipathy for others he 
also possessed a quality of courage which knew no fear 
and a strength of endurance which conquered opposition. 

He had deep and fixed convictions about everAthing 
worthwhile. He never preached to please the multitude 
and never fawned in the presence of power. He never 
flinched or faltered when duty called, and all men knew 
where to find him when moral standards were assailed. 

He never sought position or looked with favor on any- 
one who did, and all the honors which ever came to him 
were but commands to take up tasks for which he was 
prepared. 

"His life was gentle ; and the elements 
So mixed in him, that nature might stand up 
.\nd say to all the world : this is a man." 

He loved his church and gave it his best service. He 
was a true disciple of Wesley, and an able defender of the 
doctrines of Arminianism, but withal he was so broad in 
his s}Tnpathies and so tolerant of the faith of others, that 
men of all communions were his friends. 



He loved to preach and was a preacher whom the peo- 
ple gladly heard, for he was not only a man of ripe scholar- 
ship, but his heart overflowed with love for God and man. 
Then, too, his rich vocabulary, his clear enunciation, his 
keen spiritual perception, his vivid imagination, his fervid 
eloquence and his logical presentation of the truth, all 
crowned with a deep yearning for the lost, made him a 
very powerful and popular preacher, and the Lord won- 
derfully blessed his labors, as evidenced by the record that 
in nearly every charge he served, the church was strength- 
ened by substantial additions on profession of faith. 

He not only loved to preach, but it was his joy to 
assist his brethren in meetings, and while generally bur- 
dened with the heavy duties of a city pastorate, he never 
seemed too busy to aid a preacher in revival work in a 
country church or struggling mission. Being warned a 
little while ago that he was working too hard and that he 
should conserve his strength for lengthened service, he re- 
plied that an invitation to preach was a call to duty, and 
however physically unfit he might feel, he hesitated to 
refuse to obey what might be a command of the Spirit. 
He did not do his work in perfunctory fashion, when he 
preached he stood forth as the prophet of God with a full 
consciousness of the terrible responsibility, and when he 
visited a family, his aim was to leave a holy influence 
behind him, and it was his rule to pray with his people. 
Sometimes it was difficult to get the family together for 
prayer, and usually when such was the case, he would 
offer a brief parting petition with the company standing. 
His pastoral visits were benedictions long to be remem- 
bered by many who were under his watchful care. 

His public prayers were scriptural in expression, trans- 
parent in their simplicity, and uttered with such earnest- 
ness of faith that worshippers forgot the sordid things of 
the world and were lifted into a devout and serious frame. 

He loved his brethren and was by them loved and 
recognized as one of the wise leaders of the Conference. 
They made him President of the Conference Historical 
Society and of the Sunday School Board, and he was 



honored as a delegate to the General Conference of 1894 
and 1898, and at our recent session at Asheville was 
elected to the forthcoming General Conference. He was 
a Trustee of Vanderbilt University and of several of our 
Conference Institutions. 

He loved his country and longed to go to the front to 
minister to the soldiers, but on account of age and phy- 
sical infirmity, it was not deemed expedient. 

He loved the struggling young preachers, and his 
kindly interest and tactful help was an inspiration and 
strength to many of them who needed and longed for the 
counsel and encouragement of older and wiser men. 

He was loved by the people in all the charges which 
he servTd, but he was best known and most loved by the 
people of Central Church to whom he had ministered in 
the Gospel as pastor and presiding elder for twelve years, 
or one-third of the full period of his ministerial life. 

This good man who so faithfully labored among us, 
we feel sure, has safely entered through the gates into that 
"city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker 
is God." 

"Servant of God, well done, 

Rest from thy loved employ; 
The battle fough, the victory won. 
Enter thy ^Master's joy." 

Charlotte, X.C., April 1, 1918. 



REPRINT FROM CHURCH BULLETIN 
JANUARY 6, 1918 



THIS is a day of holy sorrow in Central Church. Our 
man of God has gone home. Not with sackcloth 
and ashes nor with emblems of dead hopes do we 
mourn. We know where he has gone for he has shown us 
the way. Hand in hand with his ^Master he walked the 
shining road and entered the gates of the city whose maker 
and builder is God. 

At the battle's front he fell. And thus the good soldier 
desired to go. Ofttimes he had asked that the end might 
be like this — that his marching orders might come in one 
clear call from the King. 

We knew him well. His life lies like an open book 
upon the altars of this city. So humble was he that few 
knew the vast breadth of his scholarship nor of the honors 
that his church and nation had heaped upon him. But 
all knew him as the unwearied friend of the lowly, the 
bearer of light to darkened windows, and the wise coun- 
sellor of men who were treading in perilous ways. The 
tears of bitterness flowing from stony griefs were sweet- 
ened by his words of comfort and the undefiled joys of 
life became radiant in his smile. Four times our pastor; 
forever our friend; an influence for good as eternal as the 
hills upon w^hich our city stands. 

Little children stopped their play, boys and girls 
walked in silence, strong men and w^omen laid down the 
accustomed task and the old sat bv saddened firesides. 



He pointed the way, took up his staff and started on. The 
journey is now done and he awaits us There. 

A mind unmarred by any littleness, a soul unblemished 
by any stain, a character as up right as the walls of heaven, 
a love — ah, there he was the strongest and best — a great 
follower of his Great Leader. 

Among the hills where he had so often seen the "trail- 
ing garments of the Most High" he walked with "a God, 
mighty to save and strong to deliver." Through blinding 
tears of love and gratitude we follow on. 

Hail and farewell, O Mighty Man of God. 



10 



PRAYERS 

OF 

REV. CHARLES WESLEY BYRD, D.D. 



Sunday, June 10th, 1917 
Lord, make this day with its opportunities of rest and 
worship a day of great spiritual refreshment. Help us to 
put aside our worldly cares and come to Thee with open 
minds and receptive hearts so that we may go away from 
our place of worship with clearer vision, deeper spiritual 
insight, truer ideals of life, and renewed strength for the 
performance of its duties. ^Minister comfort to burdened, 
sorrowing hearts, pronoimce within us the sentence of 
absolution that will bring peace to our anxious souls and 
hear and answer the agonizing cr}- that goes up from all 
hearts for a warrins: bleedinsr world. 



Sunday, June 17th, 1917 
Loving Father, Thy Providence has supplied the needs 
of our bodies, and Thy grace has sustained our spirits 
during the work and temptations of another week. We 
are grateful to Thee for Thy love and care, but we need 
Thy pardoning mercy for we have sinned against Thee in 
more ways than we can recall. Have mercy upon us and 
pardon our offenses. Make us increasingly sensitive to 
the approaches of evil, that, turning away from it, we may 
turn to Thee with deeper devotion, and ser^-e Thee with 
more perfect loyalty. Make the sendees of Thy house 
today useful to all who engage in worship with us. Let 
Thy love and Fatherly solicitude move the hearts of the 
unsaved, and lead Thy children to more perfect consecra- 
tion to the Redeemer that has washed and saved us by 
His blood. 



11 



Sunday, June 24th, 1917 

Lord, help us to realize the sacredness of this day, and 
to enter upon the public worship in which we engage with 
becoming reverence and with that expectant faith which 
will fit us to receive the forgiveness of our sins, and that 
bestowment of grace which we need for the duties that 
await us in the coming days of this week. Endue Thy 
ministers ever}^where with power that their preaching may 
awaken sinners and comfort and strengthen Thy children 
in all their toil and temptations. 

Grant special blessings to the visitors among us today, 
and make the worship of this hour an epoch in the life of 
at least some of them. 

Hear and answer the prayer that goes up from all our 
hearts for our countr}^ in this awful crisis, for the church 
of God that it may be increasingly loyal to Thee, and for 
the world that is torn with strife and engaged in war. 



Sunday, July 1st, 1917 
Lord, we desire above all things to feel deeply our need 
of Thee, and of the gifts that Thou alone canst bestow, for 
Thou hast taught us that it is only those who hunger and 
thirst after righteousness that shall be filled. Send Thy 
spirit into our hearts to awaken in us a consciousness of 
our incompleteness without Thine indwelling presence. 
Come into our hearts, O Christ, and dwell there by faith 
till through this vital union of our weakness with Thy 
strength we, too, shall be strong: till by Thy transforming 
power we shall be freed from sin and made pure in Iieart, 
Christ-like in purpose, and Holy in all manner of con- 
versation. 



Sunday, July 8th, 1917 
Search us, O Lord, and know us, and make us to know 
ourselves this morning with that knowledge which will 
produce in us a wholesome dissatisfaction with our spirit- 
ual attainments; then lead us to the Source of all our 
help. Give us that cheerful piety which will commend 

12 



our religion to all men. Let Thy special blessing be upon 
the stranger in our midst. Bless and comfort the sick who 
are in our city seeking health and help us this day, which 
is set apart especially to the consideration of the Good 
Samaritan ^lission, to do that which Thou wouldst have 
us do. ]Make our worship today a season of great refresh- 
ment and so order it that we who are accustomed to wor- 
ship here together with visitors from other sections of our 
countr}-, may be refreshed and brought close to Him who 
alone can save from the temptations that are incident to 
common life. Lead any unsaved one among us to sur- 
render his life to Christ this morning. Amen. 



Sunday, July 15 th, 1917 

Our Father, in Thy love, compassion and long- 
suffering, Thou hast borne with us another week. Thy sun 
has shone upon us, Thy rain has fallen, and Thy bounties 
have supplied all our needs. If there has been in any of 
us a spirit of complaint and repining we pray that the 
memor}' of Thy love and care may humble us and lead us 
to repentance. Minister to us today great Spiritual bless- 
ings, so that we may overflow all the week with Christ-like 
love and helpfulness . ]May those who abide with us under 
the same roof, and those who toil with us at the same task^ 
see in our faces the light of Thy countenance and hear in 
our speech the ring of Thy voice. 

Give wisdom, patience, and patriotism to all the people 
of this our native land. Grant special blessings to those 
who administer its laws. Let those who interpret them 
have the help and guidance that Thou hast always given 
to devout, God-fearing men in ever}- land. Put Thy hand 
in a beneficent way into the Legislation that is now pend- 
ing in the x\merican Congress. We know that Thy pres- 
ence and power can be traced in the currents of human 
histor}' as well as in the starry skies. Protect and defend 
our Armies, and give them success against the enemies of 
human liberty and the oppressors of helpless women and 
children. 

13 



Lay upon our hearts Thy quieting hand in these times 
of anxiety and solicitude, and help us with confidence in 
Thy wisdom and grace to go to our daily tasks with the 
sweet assurance that Jesus Christ is still Head over all 



things to the Church. Amen. 



Sunday, July 22nd, 1917 
Almighty God, Thou hast assured us again and again 
that Thou art love, but we do not even know what that 
means. We always feel our need of One greater and better 
than the best of us, therefore we feel after Thee praying 
for the manifestation of Thy presence. Our C17 has often 
seemed to be in the darkness, but sometimes we have seen 
Thy face, heard Thy voice, and felt Thy touch. Help us 
to see Thee today in every blooming flower, and to hear 
Thy voice in every whispering breeze. Thy sanctuary is 
well known to all of us, but oh! how seldom we enter it. 
Thou art in the Christ and the Cross of His Redemption 
is ever accessible to us. To Him we turn our eager eyes 
today, and our hearts are filled with expectation. Surely 
Thou wilt not disappoint our look of trust, for the prayer 
of the simple has always reached Thy heart. Our plea is 
for pardon, our cr}' is, "O God, be merciful unto me, a 
sinner," and forgive us our transgressions and cleanse us 
from our sins. To this appeal, if made in penitence and 
sincerity, Thou hast only one reply; and may we be made 
to rejoice in a pardoning God. We know Thy mercy, and 
realize that there are tears in the very eyes of Thy judg- 
ment. We come not to Thy judgment this morning, but to 
Thy mercy and Thy compassion. We desire to stand be- 
fore the cross of the Saviour rather than before the throne 
of the Judge. We plead the mysterious blood and the 
wondrous sacrifice which no man can explain but which 
we all can feel, and which touches our hearts and awakens 
our love. Let none of us depart from this place without a 
blessing, but may the bounty of Thy house satisfy our 
hungr}' souls and may we go to our toils and temptations 
with the consciousness of Thy companionship and help. 
Amen. 

14 



Sunday, July 29th, 1917 
We realize, O Father, that great and incomprehensible 
as Thou art Thou dost desire to hold fellowship with us, 
and to know that our hearts respond to that desire. It is 
a great thing to feel that there is something in us that Thou 
dost deem worthy to work along with Thee. Our sendee 
has no strength in it but Thou dost accept our desires to 
be strong. Thou knowest the impotence of our best efforts 
but Thou art always saying to us "Will thou be made 
whole?'' Lord help us this morning in our worship to 
yield the one peculiar gift with which Thou hast endowed 
Us a willingness to be. If we are so earth-bound that we 
cannot work with Thee let us, at heart, wish with Thee. 
As we sit in Thy house today may our imaginations take 
wings and bring to us great etilaying and uplifting dreams 
for what we would do if we were only free. Help us here, 
in this holy place to plan for the race that is before us when 
we shall no longer linger in impotence and despair about 
the porch of Bethsaida. Show us the road of beneficence in 
which we have never walked, and let Thy Spirit point our 
hearts to those labors of love which Thou art waiting to 
enable us to perform. Kindle in us the desire, and accept 
it till such time as we shall perform the deed. Infold in 
us the beautiful fragrant flower of noble desire and cherish 
that flower till the fruit matures. Lord write in Thy book 
of remembrance that there waits before Thee today a con- 
gregation that desires to be made whole. Amen. 



Sunday, August 5th, 1917 
Almight}' God, by love alone we can know Thee. Help 
us to send out our hearts after Thee and to come back with 
them all aglow with Thy Grace and pulsating with Thy 
life. The world to us has proven a great emptiness, its 
cup has been unsatisfying in the hour of our supreme need. 
But in Christ we have found the Bread for which we 
hunger and the Water for which we thirst. He is the cen- 
ter of our security and the Source of our peace. We open 
our hearts to Him today that He may restore and complete 

15 



our fellowship with God. We listen for the voices that 
are grand with the music of the time in which we have 
been lifted to the Mount of Transfiguration — voices that 
are tremulous with answers to our present needs. Make 
us willing to ser\T, patient to endure, alert to reach out a 
helping hand to the helpless, the sick and the tempted. 

^lany among us are filled with sorrow and pain, some 
have been chilled with strange bereavement, and many are 
anxious for loved ones who are called to places of danger 
and death in the service of our country. Comfort such 
souls and make their sorrows the roots of an enduring joy. 
Amen. — 

Sunday, August 12th, 1917 
Loving Father, how shall we approach Thee today? 
We are deeply conscious that we dare not rely on our own 
merit, for we have been absorbed, during the week, in tasks 
that w^re sordid, in thoughts in which Thou hast had no 
place and we have been caught in the grip of material 
interests that have kept us back from the pursuit of Spirit- 
ual Ideals and the maintenance of fellowship with Thee. 
We are here to seek Thy pardon and to pray for that purity 
which will enable us to see Thee and that power which 
will fit us for the tasks before us and that wisdom that will 
direct us in all our duties. Make Thy word a source of 
comfort to Thy people today and clothe it with power to 
convert sinners and lead them into the Kingdom of God. 
Lay Thy loving hand upon the hearts of the vast numbers 
of young men that are being called to the colors of our 
country at this season. Help the church to successfully 
point them to Christ and lead them to enlist in the highest 
service before they go to the fields of conflict. Comfort 
the hearts of their kindred and friends from whom they 
must be separated in the service to which they are called. 
Give them courage to fight like heroes and crown with 
success their efforts to overthrow autocracy, militarism, 
and oppression. Let their lives be precious in Thy sight 
and save by Thy Grace those who shall fall on the field 
of conflict and those who are to return to their homes. 
Amen. 

16 



SuxDAY, August 19th, 1917 
Almighty God, we would listen to the voice divine this 
morning and turn a deaf ear to all others. The varied 
music of other voices assail our ears; but may we detect 
in them the hollowness, the selfishness and the worldliness 
with which they are filled, and may our spiritual hunger 
and thirst cause us to turn to Him who said. "T am the 
bread of life, I am the water of life."" Thy goodness has 
preser^'ed us. and Thy tender compassion has kept us. 
Thy love stooped to save us. Thy Son came to show us 
the vv'ay back to Thee and today we are the objects of Thy 
mercy. If Thy blessings are continued to us we shall 
never die. Help us to see Thy image in man, and then 
shall we know that we are indeed the temple of the Holy 
Ghost, and we shall welcome Him into our inner man and 
be sanctified and enlightened by His presence. We desire 
to carr\- the battle of life to triumph, but we can do this 
only through Th}- pity and Thy love. I\Iay our medita- 
tions of Thee be sweet in Thy house today. We need Thee 
at all times, on the mountain top where the sun shines, and 
in the deep valley where all is dark. We need Thee in 
the heat of Summer and the cold of Winter. ]\Iay Thy 
hand lead us through life's stress and storm and tempta- 
tion, till we reach the peace, the joy, and the security of 
Heaven. Amen. 



SuxDAY, August 26th, 1917 

Loving Father, we need Thy help this morning more 
than usual. We have allowed worldly cares and secular 
interests to dominate us until we are not in the mood that 
ought to characterize us when we come into Thy house or 
undertake to engage in our accustomed worship. Forgive 
our sins and breatlie into our hearts a spirit of worship 
and true devotion. 

We have not been suitably aft'ected by the tragedies 
that are4)eing enacted in the world in which we live. They 
have not touched us in a very real way up to this time, but 
we know that we ought not to wait till our own homes are 

17 



draped in mourning till we awake to the awfulness of the 
things that are transpiring, God be merciful to us as 
individuals, visit us as families with Thy grace and saving 
power and look with favor upon the land in which we live. 
Spare our young men and forbid that they shall die upon 
the field of battle if it is possible that honorable, righteous 
and enduring peace can be restored to the world without 
this sacrifice; but while we make this plea we are deeply 
conscious that there are things worse than war and death, 
and if we know our own hearts we would lay on the altar 
of human liberty the fairest and best that we have if by 
doing so we can make our contribution to the peace that 
must ultimately come. Pour out Thy Spirit upon our 
soldiers, save them from sin, give them the courage of 
noble men and prepare them in heart and mind for all the 
events of Thy Providence. Amen. 



Sunday, September 2nd, 1917 
Almighty God, our Father and our Saviour, we come 
to Thee empty-handed this morning. The cisterns that 
we have hewn out for ourselves are empty too, for they can 
hold no water. It has been difficult for us to learn this 
truth, but we know^ it now. There is no help for the 
individual, the state or nation, but in God. Our Wisdom 
has turned out to be folly, our state-craft has proven futile 
in the banishment of sin and wretchedness from society. 
Our diplomacy has failed to establish peace and maintain 
international comity. In our extremity we come to Thee 
renouncing our various inventions, and conscious of a great 
aggravated wickedness, we cast ourselves, just as we are, 
upon the work of the Lord Jesus Christ uttering, each for 
himself, the prayer of the penitent publican, "God be 
merciful to me a sinner." To this prayer, if offered in 
sincerity, there can be but one answer. We are sure that 
Thou wilt bestow Thy pardon and Thy love and take us 
back into Thy service, bending down Thine ear to listen 
to Thy praises. We would give ourselves to Thy work 
with the zeal of genuine saints and with an expression of 

18 



our love, by doing Thy will with earnestness, simplicity, 
and Christian fidelity. Oh I how heavy are the burdens 
that we must bear! Help us to bear them. Our necessi- 
ties are more than we can enumerate. Supply them from 
Thy bounty. Lift our eyes up from the earth in which 
they grope for what this world can never supply and turn 
them into a constant prayer that will bring blessings from 
the all-hospitable heavens. Many hearts are cast down 
by ever-recurring distress. Lord, give comfort to these 
burdened hearts. Help those who are about to despair, 
and appear to them as a shining light, and let them turn 
again to their tasks with fresh courage and renewed 
strength. Be with us in our business, and save us amid 
our temptations. Our pathway is beset with sins and 
snares. We cannot go safely unless Thou wilt hold our 
hand and direct our steps till the journey is ended and we 
enter into Thv rest — the life eternal. Amen. 



Sunday, September 9th, 1917 
Our Father, we want to be true Disciples of Jesus 
Christ, and learn with fidelity the lessons He teaches us. 
Help us to fix our eyes on the goal He has set for us. We 
know that He alone can reveal to us the true ideal. There 
is much pain and sufi'ering in this world, and we must 
bear our part of them, but when Thy will points to the 
path that is crowded with thorns, help us to realize that it 
is only because flowers grow farther on. We would not 
shrink from sacrifice if it is necessary' to cleanse Thy tem- 
ple. When sorrows come let us know that they are a part 
of Thy great plan to smooth the path of those who are to 
come after us. If we are called to walk in the road that 
leads to the poverty of the Clanger help us to carry with 
us treasures richer than those ofi'ered by the wise men of 
old. Some times conditions drive slumber from our eyes 
and we are forced to keep watch in the night. At such 
times give us ears to hear with the Bethlehem Shepherds 
the Angels' song. When we are called to bathe in the chilly 
waters of the Jordan may we see over the head the open 

19 



Heavens and hear the Spirit's voice. There is no sacrifice 
that is too great for us to make if we can only realize that 
it is to prove a ministry of love that will issue in nobler, 
purer, sweeter life for succeeding generations. The yoke 
is indeed easy, and Thy burden is light when we are filled 
with the joy that Thou dost open up in the hearts of those 
who love Thee. 

We offer our prayer this morning for all men, but we 
make special intercession for those who have responded to 
the call of our Country in these trying days and are sub- 
jected to the hardships, temptations, and dangers of a 
soldier's life. Amen. 



Sunday, September 16 th, 1917 
Almighty God, help us to enter into Thy courts with 
praise for Thy great benefits, and into the secret place of 
Thy dwelling with a vision that has been made clear by 
Thy Spirit, so that we may behold Thy glory and get the 
inspiration of a great, new ambition, even the ambition to 
see Thee with hearts that have been purified, to love Thee 
with ever deepening love, to read Thy truth with clearer 
understanding, and to fulfil Thy purpose in all the ac- 
tivities of our daily life. Out in the work-day world we 
have been stung by pain, exhausted by toil, maddened by 
hunger, and overwhelmed with disappointment. These 
experiences drive us back to our Father's house, and we 
look up into Thy face and plead with Thee to abate the 
agony of our pain, to rehabilitate our exhausted energies, 
to appease our hunger with the bread of life, and to lift us 
up from the overwhelming burden of our disappointment. 
Let us hear from the voice of Thine own Spirit the answer 
of redemption rather than of judgment. Help us to take 
heart from the fact that tomorrow will come with new 
chances, new opportunities, and new openings into clearer 
light, nobler liberty, and higher service. 

Breathe into our souls the noble charity of Christ's 
own Spirit, and then we shall forgive our enemies, return 
good for evil and be filled with that abounding charity 
which is the highest manifestation of religion. Amen. 

20 



SuxDAY, September 23rd, 1917 

O God, our Father, we have once more turned our 
steps to this place of worship. We pray Thee to help us 
to lift this coming together above a mere conformity to 
custom. Let the preacher's sermon be a message of 
strength and inspiration from Thee. Let the h}Tnns and 
prayers bring us into Thy ver}- presence, and make the 
service of the house today more than an intellectual and 
aesthetic delight to all who gather here. We need to see 
Thy face and hear Thy voice, that we may go out from 
this place v\-ith renewed religious enthusiasm and fresh 
inspiration. Bless and sanctify all Thine appointed agen- 
cies to this end. We know that Thou art ready to forgive 
our sins, but we want to hear the voice of Thy Spirit pro- 
nounce the sentence of absolution which no earthly priest 
can utter, however devoted and consecrated to Thy ser\'ice. 

Bless the homes in which we live and the families of 
which we constitute a part. Help us to be loving parents 
;and obedient children. May our love be like Thine. O 
Father I and may our obedience be like that which Thy 
Son rendered to Thee. Open our ears to hear the call of 
the Spirit to return to Thy service if we have gone astray. 
Confirm in us our purpose to achieve high character and 
live unselfish lives. Fit us by Thy grace for the place we 
must occupy in the church and in the state. 

Continue, we pray Thee, to exalt our national ideals 
■and help those who are called to official positions to formu- 
late them with clearness, force and precision, so that they 
may kindle in the hearts of our people a spirit of pure 
patriotism and sane solicitude for the peace and pros- 
perity not only of our o^^m country but of all the world. 

Protect and defend our soldiers from the innumerable 
dangers, moral and physical, that are incident to their 
tailing. Help them to lead clean manly lives, and bring 
back to their homes better and stronger men than when 
they went away; for we dare to ask that the discipline of 
war may purify and exalt the whole nation. Amen. 



21 



Sunday, September 30th, 1917 

O God, our Father, Thy love has been extended to US 
day by day during another week, and we are here today 
waiting for the touch of Thy hand. We know that Thou 
dost look upon us in our sin and helplessness with a great 
yearning compassion. We have had our nights of weep- 
ing, but our tears have banished with the morning and 
Thou hast come to us with renewed tenderness and gentle 
ministr\^, so that our nights of weeping have proven the 
beginning of a better and brighter time. For all this we 
render to Thee hearty thanks, and with penitent hearts we 
plead for pardon — the pardon that comes to us through the 
suffering and intercession of Thy Son, our Saviour. 

Let Thy blessings and benefits, and especially the 
blessing of pardon fill, at least for a season, the whole 
horizon of our life, shutting out every^ other consideration 
and destroying the light of every other attraction. 

Abide with us, loving Father, and Divine Son, and save 
us from the awful tragedy of sin which we are prone to 
renew with every sunrise, and which we mourn with bitter- 
ness ever}' sunset. Let the time speedily pass when we 
shall be bound by these fetters, and let the morning of our* 
complete deliverance break upon us, when our hearts shall 
be pure enough to see Thee, when we shall rise in the 
nobleness of moral freedom, and when we shall be radiant 
with the Spiritual illumination which is caught from un- 
broken fellowship with the Sun of Righteousness. 

Remember in great mercy our sick ones at home, soothe 
and comfort the old man dying, fill with comfort the young' 
mother pining, put Thy strong protecting arms about the 
little child that he may be safe and in due time come to 
positions of high service and noble consecration. Seek out 
by Thy Spirit the Prodigal out of our reach, so far away 
in the far countr}' that he is beyond the range of every good 
influence save the far-reaching mercy of Thy love. Take 
under Thy constant, loving care our soldiers and sailors 
and let Thy mercy go out with them and Thy blessing fall 
upon them according to their need. 



22 



Bless the land we love, give wisdom to all our executive 
officers and legislators, and teach our judges wisdom and 
mercy. Prosper the honest endeavors of all business men 
and laborers, and let them eat the bread of plentifulness 
with clean hearts and unstained hands. 

Some of us see the shadows of the evening of life 
lengthen. Tomorrow we shall be gone. ]May our going 
be to the radiant country, the verdant land, the sweet para- 
dise, the unending summer. Amen. 



SuxDAY, October 7th, 1917 
O Lord, our Saviour and Friend, Thou didst enter into 
our experiences and we desire to enter into Thine. We 
know that Thou didst become a partaker of our nature and 
subject Thyself to supreme human suffering that Thou 
mightest sympathize with us. We cannot s}Tnpathize with 
Thee without living Thy life. We must partake of Thy 
sorrows if we would understand them so that they may 
move our hearts and transform our lives. And while we 
stand awed and shrinking at the gates of Thy Gethsemane, 
help us to enter in and leam its meaning. We have not 
felt the pain of the world's sin as Thou didst in the Gar- 
den, and therefore we have tolerated and condoned it in 
our lives and in the lives of others. Lord, make each one 
of us to feel its horror, and then we shall not, like the 
Disciples, sleep away the hour of privilege and come to 
our great trial unprepared. We would enter into Thy 
Galilee with all its wonderful experience of joy and 
triumph as well as of pain and disappointment, but in 
order to enter into Thy Galilee we must go with Thee 
through Thy Samaria where we shall leam something of 
Thy weariness, thirst and hunger. Help us to wait at the 
well this morning and then shall we be able to blend our 
griefs with Thine, and experience that great compassion 
for sinners that called fonh Thy wonderful words to the 
woman of Sychar. We plead this day, and ever}' day, that 
we may do Thy work with efficiency, suffer Thy will with 
patience, and learn tc know the real significance of that 

23 



atoning sacrifice which is found at the heart of all Thy 
words and works. Amen! 



Sunday, October 14th, 1917 
Almighty God, we dare to besiege Thine ear \vith un- 
ceasing prayer, for our wants never end, and when Thou 
hast granted our request for today we are still unsatisfied, 
and experience the joyous pain of Spiritual hunger, and 
the welcome, grateful fire of Spiritual thirst. We pray 
that this hunger may bring us again to the bread of a 
Father's table and that our thirst may drive us to the rivef 
of God. We do not seek satisfaction for that would prove 
an insuperable barrier to progress. We pray for deliver-^ 
ance from dissatisfaction, for that would paralyze our 
eft'orts. But we do welcome the state of being unsatisfied 
for that will stimulate our longing to be more Christly in 
character, more active in ser^'ice, and more devout in wor- 
ship. We want to experience a continued growth of our 
soul's life, an unceasing expansion of our Spiritual ca- 
pacity, a perpetual yearning after the boundless and un- 
attainable, while Thou dost minister to us according to 
our necessity, capacity and aspiration. 

We oft'er to Thee humble praise for all Thy tender 
mercies and loving kindness. Receive these praises. Thou 
art above and beyond our song even as the light is far 
beyond the birds which sing in its luster. We dare not 
restrain our song, feeble and halting though it be, for we 
feel that Thy mercy will respond to it and kindle the glow' 
of Thy love in our cold, unfeeling hearts. 

Thou knowest our need. Thou seest our hands hang' 
down in impotence, our heads confused with bewilderment, 
and our hearts burning with unsatisfied longing. We are- 
conscious of our poverty and sin, and we trust that we are 
really penitent. Thy grace has richly provided for all our 
sad conditions, and we know that the blackness of our life 
is still amenable to the blood of Christ. Day by day we 
grow older. May we become better. We have written so 
little of real significance upon the flying days, and for 

24 



some of us our opportunities of usefulness will soon be 
gone. Help us to rise and work while it is called today, 
and ere the sun goes down may we do something that will 
proclaim a high purpose and a noble resolve. Amen! 



Sunday, October 21st, 1917 

Almighty Father, we approach Thee in the name of 
Him, through whoin alone we may hope to find access to 
Thy mercy and Grace. For our sins and shortcomings we 
lead His merit, making mention of no good thing that we 
ave done or attempted to do, for we know that our best 
deeds desen-e nothing at Thy hands. We live because Thy 
compassion never fails. Thy pity alone can explain the 
continuance of our days, and the yearning love of Thy 
great heart calls forth our praises. We wish to make our 
very breathing a song of praise for Thy care and love and 
our lives a perpetual sacrifice unto Thee. 

Thou hast declared Thy counsels concerning us in the 
simple and tender words of Thy gospel. May these loving 
counsels of Thine find a willing, ready response in our 
hearts and in our activities. The passion of our thank- 
fulness is great and we come into Thy court with loud, 
sweet songs that well up from hearts fired with love and 
gratitude. We would lift these songs high above the winds 
of passion and strife that rage about us and within us. 

We make our best eft'ort to put Ourselves and all that 
is dear to us in Thy hands, saying "send us what seemeth 
best in Thy sight." If the light fall upon us from Thine 
own face we will welcome it and greatly rejoice, but if it 
be Thy will that great darkness should, for a time, make 
our way fearful we will not murmur, but wait patiently 
for the coming for the promised day. Only let Thy Holy 
Spirit abide with us and keep us, and there will be light 
within and Heaven's o^\ti Calm will fill our souls. 

Help us all to do our work with both hands diligently. 
Establish us in righteousness and fill us with the expecta- 
tion of a faith that will never sink into despair. Thwart 
all the counsels of the wicked in church, state and nation, 

25 



knd bring to naught all their deliberations of malice, 
hatred and revenge. Have compassion on our enemies 
whether personal or National, and help us to rise above 
all temptations of littleness, meanness, envy and hatred. 
Our ever-darkening guilt calls for the constant application 
of the blood of Jesus Christ and for a never-failing Vision 
of His cross lifted above the clouds. Amen! 



Sunday, October 28th, 1917 
Loving leather, we come to Thee once more with 0111* 
praise and thanksgiving for what Thou hast done for uS. 
All our blessings have come from Thee and we desire to 
trust all to Thee. We can never hope to understand the 
mystery of our being with all its varied experiences, but in 
our seasons of agony and pain we catch glimpses of the 
greatness of Thy purpose in causing us to pass through 
fiery trials. In times like these may our vision be cleared 
so that we can still trace Thy hand in all that is trans- 
piring in this bleeding, agonizing world. Thou art con- 
stantly opening up to us ever enlarging spheres of service 
and sacrifice. We know that this means great glory and 
honor if we have the courage and consecration to enter in 
and do the work and make the sacrifice to which Thou 
dost call Us. We are all Thy children, and Thou knowest 
our whole story. We know that we shall not be left with- 
out a friend for Thy name is Love. We sometimes wonder 
why we are here, but when we experience the mystery of 
the patience which Thou hast sometimes wrough within 
us, we are content to abide in our little spheres, saying, 
"Not my will, but Thine be done." 

Lord, Thou hast bestowed upon us, as a nation, multi- 
tudinous wealth. Help us to use it for Thy glory. We 
realize that our wonderful resources and our great accu- 
mulations have betrayed us, as a people, into great self- 
indulgence and into habits of luxuriousness, that have 
been sapping bur manhood and destroying our morality. 
We face condilions today in our National and individual 
life that bring to us a great opportunity to rehabilitate by 

26 



sacrifice and sen'ice the physical, moral, and spiritual 
manhood of the Nation. Help us to see our opportunity, 
give to us dreams that are inspired, and flash upon us 
visions that gleam in the light of Thy countenance. We 
dare not sink into despair, but in the strength that Thou 
alone canst impart we would gird ourselves for the conflict, 
for it is worth while to fight all the battle and endure all 
sorrow, that at the end we may feel the peacefulness of 
peace and the restfulness of rest. We oft'er all our praise 
and prayer in Christ's name. Amen. 



SuxDAY, November 4th, 1917 
Lord, in the course of Thine earthly ministry Thoii 
didst experience the depression and disappointment of 
faded hope. We are glad that Thou didst enter into this 
experience too; for this is an ever-reciirring experience of 
olir own lives. And withered hopes are worse than 
withered flowers, for withered flowers have fulfilled their 
mission, and drop away in the natural course of nature, 
but hope's fulfilment has never come. Our ideal dreams 
have faded from our vision and left us in depression and 
deep bereavement. It cheers us to know that Thou hast 
shown us the crossing of this river too. Great indeed would 
have been the blank if Thy thoughtfulness and care had 
failed us here. Thou wast tempted in all things and Thou 
didst not forget to enter into those innumerable tempta- 
tions of our withered dreams. Blighted hopes for our- 
selves, our children and our friends are no Unfamiliai* 
experience to the most successful of us. Let the memory 
that Thy blighted hopes did not wither Thy heart, cheer 
us and enable us to keep our hearts fresh and green. As 
we contemplate the fading of Thy hope ours is enlarged, 
for we learn that the moment Of disappointment may be a 
Divine moment fraught with highest interests and con- 
training the inspirations of noblest ideals. 

We make intercession this morning for the sick and 
sorrowing ever^-^vhere, for our countr}% with all the dan- 
gers that threaten it, for our President and all officials 

27 



both high and low, that they may have the guidance of 
Thy Spirit, the courage that springs from a lofty idealism 
and the hope that is bom of faith in God. Remembei* 
especially, in great mercy and tenderness, our sons and 
daughters that are enlisted in the dreadful war into which 
our country has been drawn. Hasten the coming of honor- 
able peace, defeat, if it be Thy will, all the purposes and 
plans of oUr enemy and give Us success in Our efforts to 
achieve victory for the ideals that we believe are in har- 
mony with the will of God. 

Pour out Thy Spirit in rich abundance upon the 
Church of God, make its membership humble in heart, 
Christly in character, and holy in all manner of conversa- 
tion. Amen. 



Sunday, November 11 Tit, 1917 
Lord, we are gathered in Thy house today and are ask^ 
ing the question, "What are we here for?'^ The answer 
that comes is, "To be fitted for a place in the ranks of 
Thine army." We crave for ourselves Thy best robe, be- 
cause we know that it is the soldiers' robe. We need a 
true Military spirit — the spirit that banishes fear. That 
spirit is the spirit of love, and it alone can fit us for our 
seasons of waiting. Lord, it is the silence and not the con- 
flict which makes us tremble with fear. We have some- 
times thought that if we could be freed from the allure^ 
inents of the World and escape its scenes of temptations, 
we might dispense with the soldiers' garb, but when we 
have tried it we have still felt the need of our armor; for 
the scene of the most trying temptation is within us, and 
we have fought our bitterest battles in the silent field of 
our inner nature. It is when we stand face to face with 
self that we most need Thy grace and power. The ap- 
plause of the multitude oftentimes makes sacrifice easy, 
but when the multitude is gone, when the spectators have 
withdrawn, and we see no banners and hear no trumpets, 
but are alone, then it is that we need the armor of God. 
W'hen in the darkness We are alone with our own erring 

28 



souls, we need the armor that can withstand the great 
battle where there fights but one. The sword is for our 
seasons of solitude, the spear is for life's great silences, the 
helmet is for the hours that we are called to spend in the 
hermitage. We need quickening for our periods of silence, 
we must be fortified for the fireside, strengthened for the 
study and inspired for the inland calm as well as for the 
storm-tossed main. Clothe us with Thy might, lead us 
with Thine own hand, and save us in Thy kingdom for 
Christ's sake. Amen. 



Sunday, November ISth, 1917 
Lord, we would approach Thee this morning filled with 
the sense of our great need, seeking the golden gate into 
that perfection for which our hearts are hungn^ Some- 
times we have dared to think of our own virtues and to 
imagine that we had some light of our own but this has 
been when we have compared ourselves with others like 
us. When we have stood in the dazzling light of the Sun 
of Righteousness our little flickering candle has been 
eclipsed and become invisible. At seasons like this, de- 
pression has thrown its shadow over us, and we have wept 
because of our imperfections, but our weeping has been a 
glorious weeping and our tears have turned out to be happy 
tears, for they have had in them the rainbow of higher 
hopes and worthier aspirations. Lord consume our self- 
complacency with the fire of Thy judgment, and while w^e 
stand dumb before the whiteness of Thy holiness, help us 
to rejoice that our little torch is extinguished by Thy glor}% 
and that our faded colors are exposed by the light of a 
love that encompasses us with its beneficent atmosphere. 
Speak to us this morning by the voice of Thy spirit and 
we shall be strengthened for the conflict that is before us. 
Gird us with Thy power and we shall enter into the battle 
that we must fight with the confidence and courage that 
will bring victory over all the foes of our spiritual nature. 
Let the experience that shall come to us this day be such 
as shall leave upon our characters a permanent impression 

29 



of holiness. Set us apart afresh for service and sacrifice 
that those of us whom Thou hast called into the sacred 
office of the Ministry may go away from this place con- 
scious of quickened energy and renewed powers. May the 
experiences through w^hich we are passing as a nation 
purify our social life, deepen our spirituality and cause us 
to rely more firmly upon Thy grace and power. Amen. 



Sunday, November 25th, 1917 
Almighty God, we call this Thy day, we are here to 
study Thy book, and to bow in homage and expectation at 
Thy altar. We sing to Thee with our tongues and speak 
to Thee with our lips, but in the hidden places of our 
heart there are desires that can never find expression in 
either song or prayer. But, Lord, Thou canst hear even 
our unuttered desires. We feel the burden of our guilt and 
the sting of that remorse that would render life intolerable 
but for the expectation that Thy spirit inspires within 
us — the expectation that we shall be more than satisfied 
by the rich provisions that Thou hast made for us in the 
cross. Thy mercy has been tender and Thy kindness con- 
stant and loving. We lift up our hearts and voices in 
praise to Thee for them. We can never understand the 
mystery of Thy power by which we have been brought into 
being, nor can we fathom the mystery of Thy providence 
by which we have been preserved; and the mystery of Thy 
grace by which we are being saved is infinitely beyond our 
comprehension. We can neither understand the present, 
passing, dying moment, nor can we forecast the future, but 
we know Thee and are willing to leave ourselves in Thy 
hands, for Thou hast gathered the lambs of Thy flock in 
Thy arms and hast led the flock up the steep places and 
caused Thy loved ones to lie down in green pastures. 
Thou hast opened up wells for us even in the wilderness 
and caused the stars to shine upon us in the darkness. 

We find ourselves in great perplexity, and we some- 
times stare through blinding tears into an unknown future, 
but our very tears are intended to clear our vision and 

30 



enable us to see the hidden beaut}- of Thy movement and 
the sacred grandeur of Thy purpose. Knowing this, we 
would rest in Thee. O God, and wait patiently for the re- 
ward that Thou hast in store for them that trust Thee. 

Make us to realize how swiftly and silently the years 
are stealing away, and how rapidly some of us are coming 
to responsibilit}-, some to maturity, and others to old age. 
So teach us to number our days that we may apply our 
hearts unto wisdom. 

Forgive our sins, we pray, in the name of the one Life, 
the one Death, tlie one Blood, the one Priesthood of our 
Lord and Saviour Tesus Christ. Amen. 



Sunday. December 2xd. 1917 
Gracious Father, vs-e need Thee today and ever}- day, 
but this is the day set apan for our moral and spiritual 
education, because it is the day set apart for the reading 
of Thy vrord and the offering of prayers at a throne of 
grace. We desire to come to Thee in a spirit of penitence 
and humilit}-. In the estimate that we have set upon our- 
selves we have often pitched our tents dangerously close to 
the Pharisee, we dare not claim an}-thing for ourselves. 
Humility knows not that it is humble, and only the egotist 
thinks of his ovm spiritual attainments. The good man 
is unconscious of his goodness as is the rose of its per- 
fume. Lord, we yearn for unconscious goodness, for we 
know that this alone can commend us to Thee. 

\^'e want to know that we love Thee, O Christ, but only 
as we know that we love those that are dear to us here and 
for whom sacrifice and ser\-ice are the joy of life. When 
we think we are good we may be worse than the drunkards 
and harlots as were the Pharisees in the days of our Sa- 
\4our's earthly ministr}-. Help us to not only remember 
the tender vrords of Christ but may we also dwell upon His 
terrible words. Teach us the subtlet}- of our temptations. 
Save us from the deadly sin of self-righteousness. As we 
approach Thy table today help us to approach it in peni- 
tence lest there come to us a rude awakening when Christ 

31 



shall say, "I never knew you." When the man of the 
streets tells us that we are no better than our rude, un- 
cultured neighbor from the slums may we ponder his mes- 
sage, for though unordained is language, plain as that of 
John the Baptist may have in it the sting and boldness of 
that great prophet. 

Let us be suitably affected by the teachings of Christ 
on the subject of sin and may our hearts break as we medi- 
tate upon His word. Then shall we be prepared to hear 
His tender appeal and His gracious invitation. We would 
do Thy will so that we may know Thy truth and enter into 
fellowship with Thee. 

Remember, protect and purify our sons that bear arms 
in the war in which we are engaged. Turn their thoughts 
to Christ and save them in the midst of the temptations 
through which they are passing. Forget not Thy church 
but purify it, exhalt it, and intensify its influence for 
Christ's sake. Amen. 



Sunday, December 9th, 1917 
Almighty God, we belong to Thee, for Thou hast cre- 
ated us by Thy power and preserved us by Thy provi- 
dences, but Thy sovereign right to us has not always won 
our love and led us to a full recognition of Thy rightful 
claims, but when we have rebelled against Thy will and 
resisted Thy authority. Thou hast condescended to give us 
such a manifestation of Thy love and solitude through the 
mercy and grace secured to us through the gift of Thy Son 
that the very contemplation of it moves us to respond to 
the silent appeals of Thy spirit for service and sacrifice. 
So we come this morning moved by no external constraint, 
but impelled by that love which makes us long to give our- 
selves to Thee in a service that has in it no element of 
slavery, but which is the exercise of the highest and sweetest 
liberty. We pray for a deep realization of that possession 
of us which will fill us with a desire to consecrate all our 
capacities and powers to Thee, and cause us to realize the 
richness of our inheritance of high fellowship, perfect 

32 



safety, inestimable treasures of grace, and immortal life 
that are involved in the mutual indwelling of Christ in us 
and us in Christ. 

Give wisdom and guidance to the President of the Na- 
tion. Help him to cling with ever-deepening devotion to 
the lofty principles of generosity and justice that he has 
just proclaimed in his message to our National Legislature, 
to which are committed the interests of a great nation that 
Thou hast so abundantly blessed, but which, in Thy provi- 
dence, is called upon to make great sacrifices of blood and 
treasure for the maintenance of these principles. 

Help us to trust in Thee, and so consecrate ourselves 
to Thee as a Nation, that Thou wilt continue to spread 
above us Thy protecting care, give success to our armies, 
shield our soldiers from harm and danger, and shape 
them, by the discipline through which they are passing, 
into men of moral strength and spiritual power. 

Comfort and strengthen the hearts of those families 
whose sons and loved ones have been called into the ser- 
vice of their country. Find Thy way into the homes and 
hearts of those who sit under the shadow of bereavement, 
and minister to such the comfort and consolation which 
the kindest and the most considerate of human friends can 
never bestow. 

^Nlake the services of Thy house this morning especi- 
ally helpful and refreshing to the wear}' anxious spirits 
that are here to be fed. To this end bestow a blessing of 
power and spiritual perception upon him who shall preach 
the word today. Amen. 



Sunday, December 16th, 1917 
Almighty Father, we have hewn us out cisterns but 
they hold no water. And our efforts at independence have 
been sad indeed, and our dependence upon man has been 
as disappointing as our self-dependence, and we are re- 
motely conscious, at least, that there is no help for us, 
either as individuals, or as a nation, but in the living God, 
the loving Saviour. We want to surrender to Thee, and 

33 



we do here and now renounce the various inventions on 
which we have dared to rely, and come to Thee empty- 
handed, feeling our burden of sin, conscious of our aggra- 
vated wickedness, and cast ourselves upon the atoning 
merits of Jesus Christ. 

When we have done this heretofore we have found Thee 
ready to pardon, and when we have said each for himself, 
*'God be merciful unto me a sinner," Thy answer has al- 
ways been an answer of love. 

When we have grieved Thee and felt ashamed to ap- 
proach Thy throne of grace Thou hast brought us back to 
Thy side, and w^e have dared to take part in Thy praise 
and to become active once more in Thy sersdce. Lord, we 
are tired of sin this morning. It has never satisfied the 
longings of our hungry hearts, so with earnestness, sim- 
plicity and humble trust would we gird ourselves for the 
work that lies before us, and with burning zeal, constant 
love, and unwavering faith, would we do Thy will. The 
necessities of life are indeed great and as numerous as the 
moments but Thou canst supply them all. We lift up our 
life which is a great cr}'ing want to the all-hospitable 
heaven till it shapes itself into a great appealing prayer. 
We refuse longer to grope on earth for that which earth 
can never supply. We have our burdens and shall con- 
tinue to have them, no doubt, but we shall forget them as 
we experience that increase of strength which Thy spirit 
waits to supply. Cast our sins behind Thee, make duty a 
great delight, and life a glowing sacrifice. Guide the per- 
plexed, sooth those who are worn out by daily distress, 
save the despairing who think that they have knocked at 
every door, and shed upon them that glorious light which 
will reveal to them Thy great deliverance. Guide us in 
our business and help us to realize that Thy loving hand 
is upon us everv' step of the journey. 

Hear the agonizing cr}- that goes up from some of our 
hearts for loved ones that are subjected to the dangers that 
are incident to a soldier's life. Bring them back to us in 
safety, if it be Thy will, if not, accept the sacrifice which 
we make for the world's good. Amen. 

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SuxDAY, December 23rd, 1917 

Almighty Father, let us hear Thee speak to us today, 
for the music of Thy voice and the tenderness of Thy 
tones bring peace to our listening hearts. We want to 
stand in the broad light of a boundless day. We can do 
this only through faith in Christ who disperses the clouds 
of sadness and intolerable depression that settle down upon 
us in a time like this. 

While we celebrate the advent of Thy Son, who came 
to save us from our sins, let us experience the plentitude 
of His redeeming power. Help us to receive Him as the 
weary, watching soul receives the light for if we receive 
Him thus He will bring to us rest, security and peace. 

We hear the call of strange, new duties. ]May we be 
prepared for them by the inspiration of rekindled hopes. 
^lay there be a rebirth ever}' day in our hearts of the Prince 
of Peace, the King of Kings, and may they become the 
Bethlehem of His incarnation. Dwell in us, O, Christ, 
inspire our service, and make our lives the sphere of Thy 
illuminating and redeeming ministr}'. We give ourselves 
to Thee to be used as seemeth best to Thee. Send us where 
Thou wouldst have us go, give us such prosperity or such 
adversity and chastening, as will bring out the best that 
is in us; for we will welcome adversit}^ poverty and dis- 
appointment if these are necessar}' to establish Thy king- 
dom in our hearts. 

Pity this smiitten, bleeding world in its distress, restore 
peace if it be Thy v;ill to its warring nations, protect and 
defend our countn- and our loved ones in the danger that 
threatens them. Amen. 



Sunday, December 30th, 1917 
O God our Father, we have come to the last Sunday of 
another year. It has taken us into strange, new experiences, 
but amid all Thy goodness has supplied all our needs, and 
Thy grace has been richly ministered to us. We have felt 
the hand of discipline, but in all we have been able to trace 
a Father's love. Thou art training us for new duties and 

35 



responsibilities. Thou art equipping us for larger service, 
greater firmness in our resistance of temptation, and greater 
courage in the dangers and crises of life. We are grateful 
to Thee for this fatherly discipline. 

Help us to love all men, and give to us those spiritual 
graces which will make us strength to the weak, hope to 
the despondent, joy to the sorrowing, and power to the 
tempted. 

Give us a fresh baptism of Thy spirit with which to 
enter upon the New Year which is just before us. We 
await the touch of that hand that brings healing to our 
diseased spirits, and listen for that voice which allays our 
fears and quiets our anxieties. Lord, bless our countr}^ in 
the hour of its trial, and help those who direct our govern- 
ment to solve with wisdom the problems which confront 
them. Protect our army and the armies of our Allies while 
they fight for the principles of human liberty. Comfort 
the hearts of all who have given sons, husbands, or loved 
ones to this great world conflict. Come into the hearts of 
our soldiers and dwell there, thus preparing them for any 
event of Thy providence. Amen. 



Sunday, January 6th, 1918 

O God, we know Thou art the God of light, liberty, 
love and life, and we ask Thee to illumine our hearts, and 
send us forth to the duties of this new day and new year 
with the joy of faith, the gladness of obedience welling up 
in our hearts, and with a vision of truth and duty that will 
equip us for better service. 

Thou hast given us the sublime and awful gift of the 
freedom of the will. Make us to know the responsibility 
that is involved in this endowment. And help us to realize 
that our will is ours that we may make it Thine, and may 

enter into the highest liberty by becoming 

AMEN! 

(These are the last words penned by Dr. Byrd, found 
on his study desk. He left the task unfinished and has 
"entered into the highest liberty.") 

36 



SuxDAY, January 13 th, 1918 

"Our Father, we so often address our prayers to Thee 
feeling that Thou art in some remote place which we call 
heaven, but sometimes we realize that Thou art with us 
and even in us. Make this realization peculiarly vivid 
today as we unite in our accustomed worship. We need 
a God that is near at hand and whose ears are always open 
to our cr\'. 

We are sinners, though we are tr}'ing to trust the merit 
of our Divine Saviour, that we may be cleansed from our 
sins, consecrated to Thy serv'ice, and endued with great 
spiritual power. This is our hope for usefulness here and 
for a blessed immortality hereafter. If we know our own 
hearts we cannot be satisfied with bare salvation but we 
long to rise to heights of usefulness and service that will 
bring honor to Thy name, advance the Kingdom of which 
we are subjects and the family of God of which we are 
members. 

Let our hymns of praise and our prayers all have in 
them the inspiration of Thy spirit. Make all our worship 
today so sincere, simple and fer^^ent that all hearts shall 
feel its influence and have upon them an abiding impres- 
sion. 

Awaken the indifferent, bring those who waver to a 
decision for Thee, and help us all to hear Thy call to a 
deeper and more effective Christian life. Amen!" 

(This prayer was written by Dr. Byrd several weeks 
ago and laid away to be used at some future time). 



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